Self Help Retrospective

Category: What on Earth!?

I am slowly pushing my way (each sleepless night) through the books left behind in the house.

I have put together a collection for our counselor pal, Beth (who we met through Lisa & Chris...thanks guys!) because these selections seem...

Valuable? Hmmm. No, that's not quite it.

Absurd and will make her laugh? Yes! Yes! That's it!

I DARE YOU to push the very boundaries of yourself with this collection. :) Especially since the publisher has gone through the expense of creating this super cool, raised leather cover.

Privately printed--shocking, I know--in 1971 by William H. Danforth, the Founder of the Ralston Purina company who DARES YOU! to STAND TALL! LIVE TALL! THINK TALL! and, um SMILE TALL! (I was tracking with him until this last sentiment. If you are not physically tall, can you "smile tall"? If you were short but could "smile tall", would this look very freakish?)


Have you ever thought to yourself: Why DO we behave like human beings? When I was little, I wanted to be a horse. And my sister wanted to be a dolphin. I think that the dolphins may behave a little better than we do. So, why humans? If you were wondering, this book explains it.

Until George A Dorsey published this book in 1925, a whole WORLD waited to know the answer to this question. Especially his parents to whom the book is dedicated. Parents who kept daring to ask the question in his formative years, with more than a hint of exasperation, "George! Why can't you just behave like a human being??!!"

So George went to the University of Chicago, figured it all out, and became a curator at the Field Museum of Natural History. Way to go George!

With more than a touch of drama, Alfred A. Hutschnecker (his real name!), and in his excitement at accepting the human being Dorsey encouraged him to be, explored Human Nature's emotions of LOVE and HATE in his book published in 1955...

...the follow-up work to his book, "The Will To Live", which was lauded by Professors of Medicine, Surgeons, General Practitioners, Psychiatrists and...Gynecologists (?) everywhere.

Before you can get "The Will to Live", you have to pass through "Mastering Fear" because Bradley comes before Hutschnecker (his real name!) in the alphabet and 1935 came before 1955.

I believe that I HAVE Mastered FEAR. I have FEAR down to a science. I can summon up FEAR more quickly than anyone I know.

Is that lead paint? Do we have CO2 in our basement? WHAT IS THAT NOISE!!???

Stop! Stop with the compliments already. It's a gift, really.

It goes without saying that you could only benefit from ANY of these had your MIND been ALIVE! (Though I know certain college graduates who have become CEO's and...ahem...high ranking political leaders without meeting this specific requirement.)


Once ALIVE!, you were only 5 Minutes To Happiness in Maxwell Maltz's 1962 America. And any celebrated plastic surgeon turned author who uses psycho-cybernetics KNOWS what he is talking about, my friend!


With a little Creative Aggression thrown in, you were a regular self help Michelangelo! (Or, the very least, a self help Van Gogh.)

Love the photo on the cover of this book. The back states--in large type--NICE GUYS WRECK LIVES! Um, yeah! Right on! Actually, I think that this would make a good band name.

Alternative titles that didn't make the grade: "Imaginative Hostility," "Decorative Violence" and "Fecund Hell Raising."

Finally, the essential book for anyone attempting to change their house. TM*. I don't know what it is, but if it can really deliver on the promise to "discover inner energy and overcome stress", count me in.

Though that is what I usually use blogging for.

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TM = transcendental meditation. Was quite popular in the late 60's/early 70's. Still floating around (no pun intended) today, although not as much a part of the zeitgeist.

In fact, one could argue that the decendent meme from the original wave of TM is the current research being sponsored by the Dalai Lama (I think at the University of Wisconsin/Madison) on how meditation affects the brain. Some extremely compelling results are being delivered. Businessweek just profiled this research in the 8/30 issue.


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